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"Updrift (The Mer Chronicles, Book 1)" by Errin Stevens

Author: Errin Stevens

Narrator: Sean Posvistak

Length: 8 hours and 37 minutes

Publisher: Errin Stevens⎮2017

Genre: Romantic Fantasy

Series: The Mer Chronicles, Book 1

Release date: Apr. 20, 2017

For Kate Sweeting, love isn’t in the air. It’s in the water. Since her father died, Kate Sweeting’s home life has been in the pits, her well-being on life support. Her future looks desolate until she and her mother, Cara, make another plan: abandon their shriveled existence for more promising prospects on the coast, where Cara can play small-town librarian-bachelorette and Kate can figure out what’s up with that secretive Blake family from the beach. Everyone is eerily captivated with Kate and her mother, and Cara is the first to figure out why when the man of her dreams arrives all dripping and devoted and closed-mouthed about what he intends. Kate is willing to go along with their subterfuge for a while, but eventually makes a charge for the water to learn what her mother is hiding. Gabe Blake is there waiting for her…and so is someone considerably less friendly. By the time Kate navigates her way home, everything will have changed for her—what she feels, what she wants, and what she’ll risk to be with the man she loves.+

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I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Errin Stevens. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

This was a cute, unique story made almost unfollowable by a narrator who provided no distinction between characters. Young, old, male, or female--they all sounded EXACTLY the same, making it quite difficult to discern who was speaking at any given time. I found myself having to back up and relisten to scenes just to figure out who was involved, which was fairly aggravating.

The beginning of this one was a bit confusing and time seems to move inconsistently. However, once everything gets going, it’s easier to follow. The character development is nicely paced and I liked most of them once I figured out who was who and where they fit into the big picture. I liked the world the author built and the detail was interesting, though some of the control the merfolk had over regular old mortals was a little...intense in places.

I won’t say I hated the narrator, because he has a nice voice, but he was not a good choice for this story. A female reader might have made a big difference to my enjoyment, especially considering how many of the characters we follow are female. I’d have liked Sean Posvistak better if he’d been able to differentiate characters better for his listener, or if the story had fewer characters for him to play. I think I’ll be reading the sequel to this one in print. Sorry, Sean.

Bottom line: This story was unique and interesting oncei t got going, but the narrator choice was a flop. If you’re looking for a paranormal romance that doesn’t center around the worn-out zombies, vampires, and werewolves, you should give The Mer Chronicles a try.

Book One

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